, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – The European Union has sent off 32 short term election observers in different places around the country ahead of Tuesday’s General Election.
Chief Observer of the EU’s Election Observation Missions Marietje Schaake says the 32 will be joining the existing long term observers who have been serving the country for the past six weeks.
Additionally, EU will also send 50 people from the EU member states, Canada, Norway and Switzerland to join the mission.
“In total there will be 130 observers, which is a substantial delegation. We are here because we understand the importance of these elections,” Schaake said.
Schaake, who is also a Member of the European Parliament, said the EU’s role is to assess how the electoral process goes in practice, where we will look at the campaigns and the preparedness of the authorities, Election Day and the period after the election.”
EU also said that it will come up with a preliminary statement two days after the election as part of their role in assessing how the electoral process goes in practice.
“We are only here because we got invited by the Kenyan government. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here,” she said.
From what the EU has gathered so far, Kenyans want a peaceful electoral process. According to the Member of Parliament, the vast majority of Kenyans want nothing more than for the elections to be peaceful, but also credible and transparent.
“It’s important for people to grant each other the rights, but also the safety and sense of security to cast their votes according to their wishes. Those with the responsibility to ensure peace, from police to politicians should ensure such an environment is encouraged.”
Kenya will hold its general elections Tuesday, the second of its kind under the new constitution.